I went grocery shopping today. It’s one of my least favourite chores, after cleaning the house, as I often have troubles choosing the cheapest but best options. I also hate getting stuck in a line of shopping trolleys, so I generally take my green reusable shopping bags and fill them up as I go round the supermarket. Then when I get to the checkouts I will take the self-serve counter, because I can pack my bags in my own time when I’m finished, rather than dumping them quickly in a shopping trolley and have the small squishy things get all squished at the bottom!
Most supermarkets these days offer a few cents off petrol when you purchase over a certain amount. I already had a voucher for 4 cents off, because I’d spent over $80 the last time I shopped, but when I’d finished scanning my items today, I was only a few dollars away from $120, and I know that means I could get a voucher for 6 cents off petrol – that’s a whole 2 cents more! So I purchased five council rubbish bags, worth about $12. Garbage bags, like newspapers, are things you can buy at the checkout, so very useful at times like these. I wasn’t going to have time to read the newspaper this weekend, and I knew I only had two garbage bags left at home anyway, so it was a good time to buy. Also garbage bags never go off, so having a few extra is not a problem.
I also saved 5 cents! Plastic carry bags at Pak’n Save cost 5 cents. Not all supermarkets charge for bags, so I get mine free when I can, and use them as kitchen garbage bags. I also try hard not to get too many plastic bags if I can help it, to be environmentally friendly. But I needed an extra bag because I had bought quite a bit and only had my two reusable bags. That is why I always carry a small, rolled-up reusable Envirosax bag in my handbag, and I whipped it out and put the rest of my purchases in that.
So how much did I actually save? Well I did the maths. Not much! The difference between 4 cents and 6 cents off petrol is only 56 cents. And overall, I only saved $1.68 on the petrol, making a total of $1.73 when I add the saving on the plastic bag. But any saving is a good saving. Better in my pocket than theirs, is what I say.
One thing I have learnt though, is not to bin my voucher before the sale of petrol has gone through. A few weeks ago I had a 4 cents voucher, went to buy petrol at the self-serve bowser, typed in my voucher number, and then my pin for my credit card, and to my horror, it didn’t process properly, and I’d already put my voucher in the bin! And the bin was one of those types where you can’t get the lid off. I could see the voucher in there, sitting on top, but I couldn’t get it out! You can imagine how unhappy I was when I had to pay full price for petrol. I don’t like paying full price for anything! Call me stingy, but that’s how I am. You learn from your mistakes, right?